Alternative Autumnal Wedding at Rowton Castle with a Fleabag reading

When you hear the phrase autumnal wedding, you probably think: orange, red, and leaves. Whilst that is certainly one way you can bring an autumnal wedding to life, Joy and Kyle did theirs a completely different way, and it was – if you’ll pardon the pun – a total joy to be a part of…

Autumnal wedding at Rowton Castle

Rowton Castle

As Rowton Castle is a venue super local to me as a Shropshire wedding photographer it’s always a pleasure to photograph a wedding there. Elegant and inviting, it’s a fairytale venue just outside of Shrewsbury, and was the perfect place for Joy and Kyle’s wedding plans. 

The venue does have a lovely pavilion available for outdoor ceremonies, but as this was an autumnal wedding in late October, Joy and Kyle opted for an indoors wedding instead. We definitely still made the most of the outdoors throughout the day, though, as much as weather allowed, including rounding off with a fire pit and a sparkler sendoff. Way before that, though, I especially love the portrait of Joy just before she gets ready to go down the aisle, where the red leaves on the garden wall behind her perfectly echo her bold red lip!

“Autumnal loveliness”

When I asked Joy and Kyle for the theme of their wedding, they told me they were going for autumnal loveliness. In lieu of an orange and red colour scheme, for them this looked like a deep green and cream palette, brought to life with plenty of flora and foliage. The signage, created by Kyle’s mum Liz, was refined and rustic. I loved Joy’s bridesmaids’ dresses, which were such a dark green they looked almost black!

Fleabag wedding reading

I love Fleabag, the brilliant TV series written by Pheobe Waller-Bridge. Now you might be thinking – thanks for sharing that Laura, that’s lovely, but what the hell does that have to do with Joy and Kyle’s autumnal wedding? Great question, and here’s your answer: they chose a Fleabag reading for their ceremony!

And not just any reading, either: the (hot) priest’s “Love is awful” speech, which he performs at a wedding in the series (no spoilers, I promise…but do watch it, if you haven’t got round to it yet. I was already pretty excited to be at Joy and Kyle’s wedding, but when I heard this I was giddier than if someone had shouted “Free mint blend tea” at Starbucks…) 

“Love is awful. It’s awful. It’s painful. It’s frightening. It makes you doubt yourself, judge yourself, distance yourself from the other people in your life. It makes you selfish. It makes you creepy, makes you obsessed with your hair, makes you cruel, makes you say and do things you never thought you would do. It’s all any of us want, and it’s hell when we get there. So no wonder it’s something we don’t want to do on our own. I was taught if we’re born with love then life is about choosing the right place to put it. People talk about that a lot, feeling right, when it feels right it’s easy. But I’m not sure that’s true. It takes strength to know what’s right. And love isn’t something that weak people do. Being a romantic takes a hell of a lot of hope. I think what they mean is, when you find somebody that you love, it feels like hope.”

(Fancy seeing it in action? Here’s the scene from the show itself.) 

All the personality and details

Joy and Kyle’s autumnal wedding was not only a masterclass in alternative October style, it was also a day full of so many gorgeous details and brimming with personality. 

They decided to do a number of elements of the day their own way, including a bubble exit instead of a confetti exit (love), a three-tier cake with two round tiers and a square bottom tier (love), and a guestbook made of a wooden board, which they could display in their house afterwards (love!). As Joy is a foreign languages teacher, the instructions to leave a message were written in French, too. 

Perhaps the best detail of all was their favours, which were these incredible personalised pins made by Sam T Made It. Based on a photo of Joy and Kyle, they were such a cool memento of the day, and made their way onto lapels and shoulders immediately! 

German wedding traditions

Another fun element of Joy and Kyle’s autumnal wedding was the nods they made to German culture. To officially open the dancefloor, they took part in the ‘cut-out heart race’, and old German tradition where couples race to each cut out half of a heart on a big sheet, before they step through it together. If your friends are particularly tricksy, they might give you smaller scissors to make the feat more challenging…and Joy and Kyle definitely had their work cut out for them (again, pun intended) with the novelty bunny scissors they were proudly handed.

After that, it was time for a “Who’s The Groom?” game, which involved blindfolding Joy and placing her in front of a chair, on which, one by one, a series of the groom’s party placed their feet. Joy then had to feel their calves, and guess which one was Kyle. I’m very happy to say she got it spot on! 

Shropshire wedding photography

I had the best time photographing Joy and Kyle’s autumnal wedding at Rowton Castle, capturing all the big moments and all the tiny details too, as they’d put so much love and care into both. 

Kind words from the happy couple

“Hello amazing photographer, we’ve just spent the evening looking at all of our photos together and reliving our wedding. The photos are incredible. We couldn’t be happier with what you captured from the day. We can’t thank you enough. You’re the best! Thank you!!! 📸👰🏼‍♀️🤵🏻🏰😘”

If you’re having a Rowton Castle wedding and are looking for a relaxed, natural documentary wedding photographer to capture the day, I’d love to chat.

Alternatively, if you’re getting married somewhere else, whether in Shropshire, North Wales, Warwickshire or further afield, I’d love to hear all about your plans and see whether I’m available – you can get in touch here. I can’t wait to hear from you!


Venue: Rowton Castle

Wedding Dress Shop: Muse Bridal

Veil: Sophia Beau

Shoes: Converse

Suit: Charles Tyrwhitt

Magician: JD Magic

Florist: Julie Nicholas

Wedding Cake Designer: Sharon Stinton

Wedding Rings: Marlow’s diamonds

Favours: Sam T Made It

Alternative Autumnal Wedding at Rowton Castle | Laura May Photography UK




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